Old Creole Days eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 199 pages of information about Old Creole Days.

CHAPTER VII.

MICHE VIGNEVIELLE.

Madame Delphine sold one of the corner lots of her property.  She had almost no revenue, and now and then a piece had to go.  As a consequence of the sale, she had a few large bank-notes sewed up in her petticoat, and one day—­maybe a fortnight after her tearful interview with Pere Jerome—­she found it necessary to get one of these changed into small money.  She was in the Rue Toulouse, looking from one side to the other for a bank which was not in that street at all, when she noticed a small sign hanging above a door, bearing the name “Vignevielle.”  She looked in.  Pere Jerome had told her (when she had gone to him to ask where she should apply for change) that if she could only wait a few days, there would be a new concern opened in Toulouse Street,—­it really seemed as if Vignevielle was the name, if she could judge; it looked to be, and it was, a private banker’s,—­“U.L.  Vignevielle’s,” according to a larger inscription which met her eyes as she ventured in.  Behind the counter, exchanging some last words with a busy-mannered man outside, who, in withdrawing, seemed bent on running over Madame Delphine, stood the man in blue cottonade, whom she had met in Pere Jerome’s doorway.  Now, for the first time, she saw his face, its strong, grave, human kindness shining softly on each and every bronzed feature.  The recognition was mutual.  He took pains to speak first, saying, in a re-assuring tone, and in the language he had last heard her use:  “’Ow I kin serve you, Madame?”

“Iv you pliz, to mague dad bill change, Miche.”

She pulled from her pocket a wad of dark cotton handkerchief, from which she began to untie the imprisoned note.  Madame Delphine had an uncommonly sweet voice, and it seemed so to strike Monsieur Vignevielle.  He spoke to her once or twice more, as he waited on her, each time in English, as though he enjoyed the humble melody of its tone, and presently, as she turned to go, he said: 

“Madame Carraze!”

She started a little, but bethought herself instantly that he had heard her name in Pere Jerome’s parlor.  The good father might even have said a few words about her after her first departure; he had such an overflowing heart.  “Madame Carraze,” said Monsieur Vignevielle, “doze kine of note wad you ‘an’ me juz now is bein’ contrefit.  You muz tek kyah from doze kine of note.  You see”—­He drew from his cash-drawer a note resembling the one he had just changed for her, and proceeded to point out certain tests of genuineness.  The counterfeit, he said, was so and so.

“Bud,” she exclaimed, with much dismay, “dad was de manner of my bill!  Id muz be—­led me see dad bill wad I give you,—­if you pliz, Miche.”

Monsieur Vigneville turned to engage in conversation with an employe and a new visitor, and gave no sign of hearing Madame Delphine’s voice.  She asked a second time, with like result, lingered timidly, and as he turned to give his attention to a third visitor, reiterated: 

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Old Creole Days from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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